Bitter Orange

Bitter Orange Essential Oil

bitter orangeLatin name Citrus aurantium var amara – Family Rutacea

Bitter Orange is otherwise known as C vulgaris, C bigaradia, Seville Orange, and Sour Orange Bigarade. Petitgrain oil is produced from the leaves of the same tree and neroli oil is produced from the blossoms.

Shirley Price in Aromatherapy Workbook, under the special properties and effects of bitter orange essential oil, mentions that it can “help restore an acne skin to normal and is prophylactic against the signs of ageing”.

A bath formulation suggested by Vivian Lunny, MD in Aromatherapy (Complementary Health) for an energizing and revitalizing blend to combat tiredness and lethargy is made up of 1 drop neroli, two drops petitgrain, and two drops of bitter orange oil, added to one teaspoon dispersing bath oil.

Also see Sweet Orange Essential Oil.

Oil Selection Guide

Color – Dark yellow to brown yellow
Viscosity – Watery
Scent – Dry, fresh, rich, sweet undertone
Perfume Aroma – Top / middle note

Oil Source Information

Plant Type – Tree
Part Used – Rind / peel of fruit
Countries of Origin – China, India, Italy, Brazil, Spain, West Indies, Guinea, United States (California)
Extraction Method – Cold expression

Known Chemical Constituents

Limonene, myrcene, camphene, pinene, ocimene, cymene

Uses of Bitter Orange

Bitter orange oil is used in aromatherapy and is used as fragrance in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, soaps, detergents, toilet waters, perfumes, and eau de colognes. Also used to commercially flavor foods and beverages.

Bitter Orange blends well with

Special Precautions / Contraindications*

Orange oil is phototoxic.
Dermatitis can occur in select individuals.
Orange oil, as with all citrus oils, has a six month shelf life.
* See Safety and Usage.

References and Resources

See References and Resources page.



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